Choosing Your Solar Hot Water System
If you want to get hot water by using renewable energy, then solar hot water is the ideal solution. Normally water is heated with energy generated by burning fossil fuels but solar hot water is the greener alternative. Here are a few things to remember when you are choosing between different solar hot water options.
Look at Roof Mounted Systems
When generating solarenergy for water, roof mounted panels are a good solution. These roof panels make good use of that abundant natural resource, the sun, to collect energy from the sun’s rays in order to heat water in tanks on your roof – it is clean energy, and easy to set up. This is a simple idea yet surprisingly has not been well-utilised by homeowners recently- fortunately it is enjoying a revival with people looking to save money on their hot water needs. There are a couple of options to choose from. The first option has the tank as well as the water collectors on the roof. The second option has the collector on the roof and a water tank below, on the ground, which is more like a regular hot water heater.
Roof mounted systems work by using pumps to get the water up to the roof and as the water gets hotter it rises, and is then taken away through pipes into the water tank. The temperature of water in this tank is monitored and if it falls below the optimum level the water temperature is boosted by heat from a gas or electric source.
Consider Heat Pumps
A heat pump extracts heat from the air and uses it to heat water for your home. Where roof-mounted systems are not suitable, a heat pump system can be used to provide hot water cheaply and efficiently. Other advantages of heat pumps for generating the heat for your water include a better look to the system – you don’t need to worry about showing panels on the roof. Plus, you can use heat pumps on a timer so you can take advantage of cheaper times for using electricity. If you have a shady roof or garden and cannot use solar panels then heat pumps are a good solution.
Look at the Rebates
Don’t forget to consider the hot water rebates you can take advantage of if you install hot water solar. Government grants in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates and state rebates are available, depending on where you live and the type of technology that you install.